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Offline Branding For Small Business in The Digital Era

In today’s digital age, many businesses are overwhelmingly choosing to use digital marketing methods to reach their target audiences. Digital marketing is generally more affordable and more direct than many offline marketing methods. In fact, some businesses have completely disregarded offline marketing altogether and have solidly focused their funds and attention on digital marketing.

You may now be wondering if offline branding is worthwhile or if it should be forsaken in your own efforts going forward. While each business has unique marketing needs and goals, you may find that there is a place for offline branding in almost every marketing plan when you take a closer look at this common concern.

Understanding Your Target Audience

You may have seen some of the many statistics regarding Internet usage and the connectedness of most age groups at most income levels. While we live in an increasingly connected world, there are still many individuals who prefer to remain completely disconnected or who avoid using the Internet for at least a moderate amount of time each day. These are individuals who may be in your target audience, but your current online marketing efforts may not effectively reach them. Even when individuals are connected fully throughout the day, which is the case for many people, these individuals may be distracted by many things. Essentially, they may be slipping through the holes.

Online branding works well for most companies who are appealing to most target audience segments, but offline branding is often used to fill in the gaps. For example, a billboard ad may be used to reach individuals who have not seen your online banner ad or who were too busy to notice it. When you are trying to determine if offline branding is a smart idea for your own marketing plan, you may want to complete a survey to determine how many people may not be receiving your online messages.

Reviewing Your Marketing Budget

Some companies do not use offline branding heavily because they think that they are reaching all of their customers through online marketing efforts. Others do not use offline strategies because of the assumption that it is too expensive to be worthwhile. Radio and TV ads may be some of the more expensive offline branding options available to you, but remember that there are many other offline options to consider as well that are more affordable.

For example, depending on who your audience is, you may sponsor a Little League team, host or sponsor a charitable event, rent a billboard, run a booth at a trade show or complete other steps. You can see that some of these types of offline branding may be more cost-effective and direct than you might think. It is important to understand who your audience is so that you know the best offline methods to use. Then, you can review your budget to determine if you can afford to take advantage of offline branding in combination with your current online efforts.

Revising Your Marketing Plan

If your existing marketing plan does not currently take into account both online and offline efforts, it may be worthwhile to revamp your plan. A marketing plan that is entirely based on online methods may have major gaps in it that can be revealed through careful research. Reallocating some of your time, energy and money so that it is wholly spend on both types of marketing may produce more effective results overall.

Remember that the ideal marketing plan will deliver a cohesive message to your audience. Your audience may need to see or hear the same message repeatedly before they internalize the message. It may also be more helpful if your audience hears or sees the message through different platforms and in different locations rather than in a static way. When you revise your marketing plan, focus on creating a plan that gets your message across to your specific target audience in an effective and affordable way.

Maximizing the Benefits of Offline Branding

In comparison to online branding, offline branding reaches individuals when they are not usually connected, and this may be intentionally or because of other reasons. They may be walking around a trade show or crafts show, reading a newspaper or even listening to the radio while they are cruising around town in their car. Offline branding typically is less direct, but it may also reach audiences that online marketing does not reach. Furthermore, it may reach those individuals when they are less distracted by other things on their devices.

In order to maximize the benefits of offline branding, you should think about the traditional methods that may be most relevant for reaching your target audience. For example, if your target audience is stay-at-home moms, buying a radio spot to run during rush hours traffic that otherwise targets commuters may not be a smart idea. The best offline marketing methods are those that are most effective at reaching your specific audience and that are also more affordable than other options.

You can see that offline branding has a great place in most marketing campaigns. While offline marketing may no longer be the primary method that is right for most businesses, it nonetheless continues to offer great benefits to most businesses in different ways. If your marketing campaign is not currently taking advantage of the benefits of offline marketing methods, now is a wonderful time to update your plan and revise your efforts.

About the Author: Jeff E. Brown is a freelance writer, self-taught lifehacking teacher, DIY home improvement specialist, owner of two happy dogs and a barbeque master. You can reach him @jeff8rown

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